A Bargain with Mister O - RPLOG
From Rusted Promises
The docks are quiet this time of night, but the night time is well lit by the full moon and the flickering glow of dockside lanterns. The Vengeance bobs in its place, moored to the docks. It does not look like a place where a party is about to happen. The ship is dark and a large gator stands guard by the gangplank.
Molly thumps across the dock with Levin in tow, arms locked as they briskly make their way along. "..and you had better not get drunk without me, because if you strand me ta get bored all over 'gain, you're gone overboard," she cautions him, looking up to regard the Vengeance. She halts suddenly as she looks it over, eying the guard as well.
"'course, lil' miss - A fine gentleman like me would never do that to ya'." replies the otter as he looks down at Molly with a toothy grin, "The same goes to you though - If you dig into the booze without me I'm going to be livid, just livid!". Levin came to this event dressed in garb slightly unusual for him - Rather then his usual loose fitting clothing the otter has on him a rather large overcoat, navy blue in color and pair of creator inspired booths, all of which seemed a little too large for the otter. Levin clears his throat as they approach the Vengeance, the normally relaxed otter stiffening up his posture as he leads Molly and himself towards the gator.
The Gator guard eyes the pair of beings on the docks. He is large and scarred and rough and certainly not dressed like the attendants at the previous party. "What're you lookin' at?" he growls.
Molly looks up at him, blinking at him a few times as she looks over his garb. "Is.. is this the Vengeance?" she asks uncertainly, fidgeting and shuffling to hide behind Levin's arm. She awaits the answer anxiously, her eyes looking over the boat behind him with a growing look of unease over her face.
Levin cocks a brow as he gives the gator a curious look, the otter mulling over the situation for a moment before deciding on a plan of attack. "Of course it is, my dear!" the otter says with a soft chuckle as he finally breaks off his stare from the gator "They're just trying to weed out any... undesirables, right?". Levin puts on his best smile for the gator after giving Molly's arm a reassuring squeeze "Molly and Levin, we're V-I-P guests of Mister O - You've probably heard of us, right?"
"Yeah," the guard growls, "Who's asking?" The Gator frowns at Levin's introduction, then grunts, turning and climbing the gangplank. After a minute, he returns. "Sorry to keep you waiting," he growls, sounding very rehearsed, "I am sorry to tell you that the party has been cancelled due to recent events, but Mister O will gladly meet with you." He stands aside to let the pair pass, a surly look on his scarred face.
The little rabbit twiddles her thumbs as she waits for the return of the gator, putting on her best polite smile as he brings the news. "Well.. after.. after you," Molly mumbles aside to Levin, scuffing her boots off the ground sheepishly as she glances around the dock.
"Ah, what a shame - I was quite looking forward to tonight's festivities." Levin replies with an exaggerated frown. The otter looks down at Molly, giving a few nods to her as she stumbles out an answer, his gaze returning to the gator with a soft smile "We would love that, yes - We've heard about what happened at his last event. A dreadful affair, absolutely dreadful. I'd like to at least give him my condolences."
Onboard, rough looking sailors stop their evening pursuits to watch Molly and Levin come aboard. There is certainly no party going on. One of the sailors nods them across the deck toward the captain's stateroom where the door stands open and a steady, warm light spills onto the deck.
Molly clings tightly to the otter's arm, walking with him toward the open door. "Did nobody else come..?" she whispers up to him, flashing a little smile to some of the sailors they pass by. "What happened?" She leans against Levin more and more as they get closer to the stateroom, wrapping his arm over her. She glances over her shoulder at the sailors, tail flicking about nervously beneath her dress.
Levin does his best to put on a reassuring smile for Molly - But at this point, even the otter felt a nervous shiver run down his spine. "Yeah, I guess so, huh?" he answers, practically mumbling as he does "And... I heard someone got killed. They're on the lookout for a flyin' blue horse is the word." Levin lets out a soft chuckle, he left out the part about the plant being involved too. "I wouldn't worry too much about it though, an argument that go out of hand I bet."
The stateroom is mostly empty, and bare of ornamentation. A massive Crocodile being is seated at the large desk situated in the middle. He looks up as the pair enters, revealing the scared and tusked visage of Mister O. "Ah," he rumbles, "I am sorry to disapoint, but the festivities of tonight have been cancelled. I have turned all the other guests away home, but you two are Freeswords, are you not?"
"Uh.." Molly mumbles, looking around the strangely bare stateroom and then to the large being seated in the centre, pausing at the door. "Uh.. L-Levin.. uh, well, I guess I am? But, I'm not sure about.." she trails off, eyes wandering to the floor - and then behind her as she nervously checks her shoulder again before turning her head up to the croc again, eyes still looking past him.
"Indeed I am, good sir." Levin says with a firm nod of his head. "Not the most noted, I'll admit, but fame isn't all that it's cracked up to be, eh? And real shame about the party - I was lookin' forward to it." The otter unlocks his arm from Molly's, although it doesn't stray far from her - It quickly comes to rest on the Rabbit's shoulder where it squeezes her reassuringly. "I must have blabbed about it at the party, huh?"
"Please," the Croc says, waving to a pair of plain chairs, "Have a seat. The party has been cancelled, it is true, but I always keep a few bottles of excellent liquor here. Perhaps you would like some while we discuss business?" He rises from his seat across the desk and he is massive. He puts the guards posted outside to shame for sheer size as he turns to a cupboard and produces a bottle and a trio of fine cups.
The rabbit shakes her head quickly. "No thank you," she says, stepping up to take a seat at one of the chairs at the desk, "I'm still feelin' the stuff from the other night.." She rubs her head with a frown, shifting around in her seat and folding her hands in her lap as she puts her polite smile back on. "What's the business?"
"I'll gladly take her share, it's what a gentleman like me is for after all." Levin says with a wink as he takes his seat, his eyes almost solely focused on the alcohol as soon as it's presented. "And I'm all for buisness - I'm suposta ask you to take this to the guild 'n all, but who wants to deal with guild fees, eh?"
The Croc raises a brow at Molly's refusal. "Indeed?" he asks, "Suit yourself." Mister O pours two large glasses and returns to the table. "I find myself in an untennable position," he says, "My men and my business has been harried at every turn by some force I cannot put a name or a face to. I would hire you to find out who it is that is so intent on ruining me and my little family and end the threat." He slides a glass over to Levin and retakes his seat.
Molly sighs with exasperation, shaking her head at the otter. "We said.." she reminds him with a wag of her finger, giving her temple another rub before she settles down in her seat again. "I don't want t'get drunk tonight and I cert'nly don't want to be the only one sober!" Her focus goes back to the croc as he returns to the table, frowning at that news. "Uh.. I d'nno if I'm really the best one.." she says, fidgeting and giving a glance to Levin again.
Levin can't help but shrug as Molly reminds him of his promise. "Damn, she got me there - Sorry friend, but a gentleman's promise ain't something that I'm gunna break." With a soft huff, the otter leans back into his chair, his eyes still focused on the sweet, sweet alcohol in front of him. "Sounds like you're in quite the pickle, huh? Molly here is new, it's true, but we freeswords have a way of learnin' things fast - Ain't that right, lil' miss?" Levin pries his gaze away from the alcohol just long enough to flash Molly a grin. "As for me, well, lets just say I know my way around - If yer willin' to give me some more details about what's going on, I can see if I can help ya' or not."
"If you are sure," Mister O says, drinking from his own cup, "It is quite good. I hope you will change your minds." The big Croc sets his cup aside and folds his hands on the table in front of him. "I am afraid that my own resources here in Firmament are limited, and I have few contacts and little in the way of real information," he explains, "This tragedy at the event the other day is the third attack on my people in this city, and the most devastating. Mister Shorthorn was a remarkable servant and a dear friend to me. The assassins themselves are no doubt long gone from Firmament. I have no interest in them anyway. They are only pawns. I hope that you can suss out the mastermind behind all of this. I can assure you that I will gladly pay for any expenses you might incur. Money is no object."
The rabbit seems to relax as Levin refuses the drink, giving him a quick smile. Her head turns back to the croc, nodding along with his explanation and throwing in a sympathetic 'aww..' at the mention of the loss of a friend. "Sorry for your loss, m'sir," she says, looking down to the floor. "I'll.. leave it up to Levin, I s'pose, and I can help him if the need is there. I don
't need much of your money, either. Losin' a friend is loss enough for you, you poor man."
Levin's eyes dart down to Molly for a moment, a hint of a scowl coming across his face, but he's quick to regain his composure - and smile - as he nods to Mister O. "I can take on the lil' miss as an apprentice of sorts - To keep track of the expenditures and assist me with certain tasks. I can deal with the, ah, nitty gritty of it all." The otter leans in and with a sly grin he whispers, quite loudly, "Yer not the only one with salt in yer veins, sir." When the otter returns to his seat, he adds "I only ask for a small fee to help me start my investigation - And that fee is a bottle of that wonderful wine a' yours."
O inclines his tusked snout a bit to Molly in acknowledgement. "I know that my family, the Lockedjaws, are not well liked in Firmament," he says, "So i don't expect much help from the local guard. But my men are my real family and I will see them protected and avenged!" He cracks a bit of a smile at Levin's forwardness and rises once more to open his cabinet, producing a dark, glass bottle and setting it on the table. "If you need anything at all," he says, "All you need to do is ask, and I will see to it that you get it. Just find out who is attacking me."
Molly smiles at the sentiment of family, giving him a respectful bow of the head in return. "Well, I s'pose Levin's already put us to the task," she says, looking over to the otter. "I'll just let you figure out what we'll need and such." She glances behind them to the door, examining the bare walls of the stateroom as she swings her legs idly off the edge of her seat.
Levin's eyes light up at the sight of the bottle, the otter is barely able to muster out a quick bow of his head to his new employer before he snatches it up off the table. "Ah, wonderful! Wooonderful! Considered me hired, then! Now then, all I need is some details about the attacks and the two of us are good to go." The otter gives a firm nod as he talks, the bottle of wine delicately cradled in his arms as he holds it against his chest. Time, location, any detail about the event that you or yer men can recall - Of course, we can go over all this another day, when you're not mournin' the loss of your friend, that is."
"No," the Croc says, "No, mourning can wait. I will give you all that I know." He produces a small sheaf of papers that he hands across the table. "Aside from the appaling events of the other day, there have been two attacks," he says, "One here on my ship by three assailants, all three female. A red panda, a tiger and a shark. They attacked unprovoked and damaged my ship. We have only just finished repairs. The second attack was at a nearby warehouse I own. Three beings, these ones were hooded or kept their faces covered. But one wore heavy armor while the other two wore lighter street clothing. Not many groups like that, I'd wager." He takes a swig from his drink and frowns. "In the first attack I lost three men, one of whom had only just signed on to my crew. In the second attack, I lost two men."
Molly stretches an arm over the table to take the papers up, frowning as she glances over them. "Why, it isn't fit.." she grumbles, flipping through them and shaking her head. "I'm mighty sorry, m'sir O." The rabbit hands off the papers to Levin and folds her hands in her lap again, looking up at the croc. "D'you know about the size of any of them? Any clues get left?" she asks with a tilt of her head, "Any little thing'll take us closer."
"A damn shame. Fortunatly, if the last attack are connected to the other two, we have a good start. Not many Pegai in sweetwater, and not many at all are blue I'd wager - We'll probably start here and work our way back." Levin moves the bottle of wine between his legs, squeezing down on it with his thighs for dear life just to make certain it doesn't fall away as he takes the papers from Molly, his brow cocking as he idly scans the papers. "Hmm... Yeah, I think I remember hearin' about the attack on the ship now, people tend to talk 'bout that sorta thing. Hopefully they remember stuff too."
"I wish I could tell you more," Mister O says, regret evident in his face and voice, "But I do not know who my enemy could be. I have done nothing to earn the emnity of anyone here in Firmament. I cannot discount a business rival trying to ruin me, but I confess I know little about any competition here. I do very little business here. It was only meant to be a short stopover on my voyage." He points to the scraps of paper on the table. "All that I or my men know is written down here," he says.
Molly nods quickly. "Of course, m'sir. I won't ask you no more about it, must be mighty difficult thing to deal with." She turns to Levin again. "Well,
I s'pose that's about all we need to get started.. right? Unless you got more expenses you'd like to 'incur'," she says, gesturing to the bottle in the otter's lap.
Levin can't help but let out a soft snicker. "Yeah, yeah you're right lil' miss. Gather up the reports - We'll read over them tonight, sober, I promise, and start our footwork at the crack of... a few hours after dawn." The otter flashes a grin down at Molly "I'll get ya' settled into the job real fast too, don't worry lil' miss. Same ta' you, sir, we'll be bustin' our asses over this until it's solved."
Mister O laces his fingers and nods to the Freeswords, all business. "Thank you both," he rumbles, "I hope to hear from you soon." Sounds like this meeting is over. And Molly and Levin have their work cut out for them.